The Skatepark Project

“To-date, nearly 700 recipients of grants from The Skatepark Project have opened their skateparks. These parks receive more than 8-million visits annually by youth who benefit from the active lifestyle and camaraderie the facilities promote.”

After receiving thousands of e-mails from parents and children across America who did not have a safe, legal place to skate and in some cases arrested for skating on public property, Tony Hawk decided to establish a nonprofit organization whose mission would be to serve this population. He wanted to help them develop quality places to practice the sport that gives them much needed exercise and a sense of self-esteem. So in 2002 he established the Tony Hawk Foundation, financed the organization with a personal gift, and assembled a Board of Directors that represents a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise. In 2020, the organization changed its name to The Skatepark Project to more closely reflect the work it does.

Since its inception, the The Skatepark Project has been helping underserved communities create safe and inclusive public skateparks for youth.The organization favors projects that have strong community involvement, grassroots fundraising, and a base of support from the skaters, parents, law enforcement, and local leaders.

In recent years, hundreds of municipalities have come to embrace the recreational—and societal—benefits of skateboard parks. With the popularity of skateboarding fueling the rush to build them, the need for help from The Skatepark Project has become more urgent and critical. Most cities in the process of building a public skatepark are working on their first, and for them there is no precedent, no blueprint. Once the cement is poured and formed, there is no changing it. All the right questions must be addressed before that step. The Skatepark Project was established to help cities develop that checklist and ensure that the hard work of skaters, parents, and city officials will result in a quality skatepark that will serve that community for years to come. The organization also supports International programs, like Skateistan, that enrich the lives of youth through skateboarding.

Since 2002 The Skatepark Project has been fulfilling its mission to help young people by issuing grants to low-income communities building quality public skateparks, and providing guidance to city officials, parents, and children through the process. To-date, the foundation has awarded over $10-million to more than 600 public skatepark projects in all 50 States, and $150,000 to support the Skateistan program in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa.

To-date, 575 recipients of The Skatepark Project grants have opened their skateparks. These parks receive more than 6-million visits annually by youth who benefit from the active lifestyle and camaraderie the facilities promote.

The Skatepark Project supports disadvantaged communities and at-risk children. We are the only national grant-writing organization focused solely on the development and financing of free, quality public skateparks. We know that skateparks provide a safe and inspiring avenue for skaters to practice and excel at their sport, and the process of developing their local skatepark encourages and teaches young people about how to make positive changes within their own communities.

The Skatepark Project has been working with municipalities and community groups to help them realize their dream of a quality public skatepark in their community. For Tony Hawk, the organization’s Founder, skateboarding was a healthy outlet and a recreational challenge, and it provided a social group of creative, like-minded individuals. It’s also a sport that helped him build confidence, taught him to persevere, and through his mentoring of younger skaters helped him develop leadership skills. The Skatepark Project works every day to be able to bring these same lessons to youth around the world.